Alum. wiring/ GFI's


Looking at a 1957 rancher. Was aluminum wiring common in the 50's.? I will check it out further myself.
And...Most of the outlets are 2 prong. If I put a GFI at the head of the curcuit will that protect the downstream outlets so I can replace with 3 prong?
Thanks for any input. Will return later to check any replies.
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Aluminum wiring was used in that time frame.
You can use GFIs and protect circuits downstream, but they will not be grounded. Grounded requires a ground conductor.
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Maybe for the service drop (and 30 amp plus circuits) BUT Al wiring wasn't used for the individual circuits inside home until the price of Cu went out of sight in the late 70s.
That was also where the problems came up.
There were all kinds of overheating problems that were essenetially "loose connectin" type stuff. A drop of just 1 volt with a 10 amp load will generate enough heat to, in time, make a junction box quite HOT.
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Aluminum wiring for lighting and outlets in gauges 12 for 15 amp and 10 for 20 amp was used off and on, I believe until the seventies. Its still very popular in larger sizes You can install GFCI protection at the head of a non grounded outlet circuit to protect outlets on its load side, then replace the load side outlets with grounding outlets(three prong) and mark them " GFCI protected, no grounding conductor) labels are usually included with the GFCI device. This will protect people, but not devices that require grounding

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Thanks "Charles" & "RBM". I am aware the outlets won't be grounded. Just don't want to use the 3 prong cheaters.
Will check the alum wiring further, It's a nice, litlle time capsule of a house. All electric with 200amp breaker box so that much ahead. Liza
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MLM wrote:

Liza-
I'm surprised that a 1957 home would have aluminum branch circuits....my experience (in SoCal) is that aluminum didn't start to be used until he late 60's / early 70's
My parents home (1959, Orange County CA) has all copper in the branch cirucits. My house 1930 same.even the new work done in the 70's
here's a very short article on the issue http://www.cornerstone-inspection.com/aluminum_wiring.html
IMHO unless you really love this place & are getting a bargain....I'd think twice about getting into a home with Al wiring unless you're planning on having the Al/Cu pigtail thing done.
cheers Bob
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BobK207 wrote:

Could be tinned copper? were they still assuming that some splices would be soldered in 1957?
nate
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Liza Rhoades wrote:

it was allowed starting in the early 50s. It wasn't used much until until about 1965 when aluminum became significantly cheaper than copper. Problems became apparent and 1971 UL removed its listing on wire and devices. Soon UL started listing new devices which are marked CU/ALR along with a new alloy wire. The "old technology" wire and devices may be in dwelling constructed or modified 1965-1973. About 2 million dwellings have the old wiring.
Aluminum wire has a distinctive silvery apearance, although some older rubber insulated copper wire may be "tinned" which is also silvery.
A lot of information on aluminum branch circuit wiring is at: http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum/aluminum.htm Last time I looked, most of the information was derived from an investigation on aluminum wiring done by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If you have aluminum wiring the best information on fixes I have seen is at: http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum/alreduce.htm This is a "paper" writen by a professional engineer, based on extensive testing of aluminum connections for the CPSC, and gives a wide range of fixes.
-- bud--
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On Fri, 5 Jan 2007 13:44:46 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Liza Rhoades) wrote:

IMHO:
You need to verify whether or not you have AL wiring, before purchasing anything for it. Many device manufacturers do not design for AL wiring.
As for the age of the house, for me, it's not the construction date, but was the home around for the AL branch wiring to be put in by a DIY'er.
Get a qualified electrician to evaluate the wiring system, or check back with your home inspection report.
tom @ www.FindMeShelter.com
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